Fearless dad ran into burning house to save girl, 15, and their pet chihuahua

One fearless father raced back into a burning house to rescue his teenage daughter and their pet chihuahua.

Nick Murphy was collecting wife Lorraine from work when they got a call from 15-year-old daughter Isabel, saying black smoke was coming up the stairs from downstairs.

A fire had broken out at their family home at around 3.30pm that afternoon.

The couple, from Heywood, Greater Manchester, were shocked to return only to find their house in flames.

They rushed back as quickly as they could but by then the kitchen was engulfed with flames and smoke was billowing from the windows.

But Nick, 55, ran straight into the burning property, and found his daughter Isabel upstairs waiting by her bedroom door with their pet chihuahua Rolo wrapped in a blanket.

He led the two downstairs, through the black smoke and back outside to safety.

The fire destroyed the family’s house and all of their belongings but they all managed to escape unhurt.

Lorraine, also 55, says that are all still in shock by what happened, and how close they came to losing their daughter.

She told the Manchester Evening News: “When we got back to the house the smoke was so thick we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces.

“We knew Isabel was home because she was the one who called us to say the house was on fire, I was panicking because the firefighters still hadn’t arrived and she was trapped in her bedroom.

“I was running around like a headless chicken, but Nick just let his paternal instincts take over.”

But she says her husband Nick didn’t hesitate, and that because of his heroics their daughter, and dog, are still with them.

Lorraine added: “He put a coat over his face and ran up the stairs even though he couldn’t see his feet.”

“He grabbed Isabel and took her downstairs with the dog. He’s a hero, I can’t believe how brave he was.

“We may have lost our house, but because of him we’ve still got our daughter.”

Despite losing all of their possessions the couple remain hopeful, and have been inundated with support from their community.

While their property is cleaned up and repaired they are living in a rented property for a few months.

Nick said: “We’re still in shock really,”

“When we got back to the house the smoke was so thick we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces.”

He went on to say how overwhelmed they’d been by the help from their community to keep them on their feet and going.

He said: “We can’t get over how kind people have been with us. People have really rallied round and I don’t know how to thank them all.

“We’ve had offers through for all sorts of things and it really has meant the world to us.”

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but firefighters told Nick it is possible it was started by embers left in a bag after the wood burner had been cleaned out.

The couple’s son George set up a GoFundMe page to help them get back on their feet, which has so far raised £4,000.

Lorraine, who works for the NHS at a rehabilitation centre, said: “We’ve lost almost all our belongings and the state of our house is devastating.

“The worst part is we are not covered insurance wise and will need to find all of the money ourselves in order to pay for the repairs.

“I know it’s my fault for having it. I’ll never do that again.

“People in the community have been absolutely amazing. We don’t know how to thank them.”